Naming Iceland's best hiking area is a pointless exercise, but if the proverbial gun were put to our heads, Landmannalaugar would edge out the competition. In photographs, this area is usually represented in two ways: by the rhyolite mountains, with their astonishing mineral spectra, and by deeply contented bathers in the natural hot spring by the main camp. But Landmannalaugar is a much wider world unto itself -- with glacial valleys, marshes, canyons, moss-covered lava fields, tephra desert, plentiful geothermal hotspots -- and can sustain several days' worth of exploring. The ideal follow-up is the Laugavegurinn, the world-famous 4-day trek to Þórsmörk.

Landmannalaugar proper is a flat, gravelly area 600m (1,969 ft.) above sea level, set between a glacial river and a lava flow dating from the 15th century. But the name Landmannalaugar is commonly applied to its surrounding area as well, all part of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Landmannalaugar is reached from the west by two mountain roads: F225 from Hekla, and F208 from the Hrauneyjar area. F208 continues east (on what is known as "the Fjallabak Route") past the volcanic rift Eldgjá and eventually joins the Ring Road west of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.